Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sydney Issues

Yeah.  I'm making premature plans again.  I'm like that.  I'm so ashamed because my friend is going to Australia in December!  Here she's planning for something that's close to two months away.  I'm planning for a trip that's over fifteen months away!   Still....time IS creeping up on us.  The trip used to be three years away.   Or maybe not.   Originally I had us coming back in 2011.   I moved it to December 2012, and now I've pushed it forward to autumn 2012.  

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what to do with Sydney. Tim is tired of it, or as he says....he's at least tired of the Sydney CBD.  I LOVE the Sydney CBD, in a very spiritual way. But I gotta admit it.  I'm kind of tired of it as well.  I mean I do definitely want to go there, but I don't want to spend a lot of time there. I'm a bit tired of big cities, and we're scheduled to spend a lot of time in Melbourne.  I'm going to get majorly burned out.  

I started thinking maybe we could stay in the Northern Beaches or Parramatta.  We could explore those areas, and then take day trips into the CBD.  It would be a pain from the Northern Beaches.   From what I've read, you have to take two buses, and then the Manly Ferry.  It's doable, but it might not be pleasant.

Uh...pause here as I try to recover from an extreme home drama interruption.  Kind of hard since I don't drink or meditate.   I'll go the distraction route....try to forget the drama, and write my blog post.

Let's see.....

Parramatta might be nice.   I wanted to visit that area in 2009, but we never got around to it.   If we actually STAY in Parramatta, won't it be likely that we'll see some of it?  It's a bit away from the CBD, but I think MAYBE there's a train station there.  I guess it would help to stay near the station, so we don't have to take a bus to the station, and then a bus into the Sydney CBD.  

When I told Jack of my plans to stay away from the CBD, he got very emotional....sad.   He's attached to Sydney.  I don't think he has this big spiritual feeling like I do. I think he just gets attached to places, and he's resistant to change. 

I think he'd be okay with Parramatta.  I had a hard time winning him over with the Northern Beaches idea.  First of all, he said he no longer likes Manly. It has bad memories for him.  We'd probably have to go through Manly to get to the CBD.  And he wasn't happy with my promise of spending two days in the CBD.    He wants more than that.  I think from the Northern Beaches it will be a pain to go into the CBD more than twice.

Tim would like the Northern Beaches, probably more than Parramatta.  

It's hard trying to please two people with opposite desires.  

Oh well.

I'm thinking we'll do Parramatta.  We can go to the CBD a lot for Jack. Then maybe we'll do some day trips....maybe Blue Mountains again.  We could do Hunter Valley.  I think we'll skip the bus tour, and just take a train. I'll have to see if the train thing is convenient.  

I'm looking at the CityRail site now.  

I just had an idea.  It's brilliant, but I don't know if Tim would go for it.  Jack and I could spend a day doing Jack's favorite Sydney stuff.   Since Tim doesn't like it, and I'm really against people tagging along to places that bore them (especially when it's expensive), he could go on the Hunter Valley tour. It's all about wine, and that might not be fun for Jack and me, since we don't drink.   

According to CityRail, it takes about four hours and four trains to get from Parramatta to Hunter Valley. Probably best to do the tour bus thing.

What about Blue Mountains? 

If I'm reading this right, it takes only about an hour to do that trip.    I just have to make sure the train station is near something fun. Is it easy to get around the Blue Mountains without a car? Is there some kind of tourist bus? 

There's a hop on/hop off trolley thing. It's 20 dollars per person, which isn't too bad.   But if you have the three of us, that's 60 dollars.   I think that's a bit pricey, depending on how much it's going to cost to get us INTO the Blue Mountains.    It might be easier (and close to the same price) to just take the tour bus from Sydney.  We've already done that though.   I'm not sure I want to do it again.   

I just looked at the CityRail fare calculator. It's much more expensive than I expected; $46.80.

Oh!  Wait!   I thought that was just for the train ticket alone.    I think it might include the explorer bus as well.   That would be cool.  Still, I wish it was like Canterbury; where you just hop off the train, and there's plenty to do in walking distance from the station.

Now I need to see how much of a pain  it is to get from Parramatta to the CBD.....

It's about 45 minutes.   That's not too awful, but not too great.

We need to do some research about Parramatta.  Is there enough there to keep us happy?  Are the hotels going to be that much cheaper?  If so, the commute might be worth it. 

Or we could stay closer to the CBD, but not IN the CBD.   I'm wondering if there's a place near one of the eastern beaches...Bondi, Bronte, or Coogee.  I'm afraid anything over there will be awfully expensive.   It would be nice to be on the beach though, or a few blocks from the beach.   I'd love to be able to do our clothes changing at the hotel, then walk to the beach.  I'm not a fan of using the beach changing rooms. I hate trying to put on my underwear with wet sandy feet. Do you know what I mean?   

There's Glebe.  It's not near the beach, but it does have a good bookstore and some nice cafes.   Plus, our friends live pretty close to there.  

I'm thinking my favorite idea so far is to stay on the Eastern beaches.   If we could find something that's not over $175 a night, has private bathrooms, air-conditioning, and is 10 minute (or less) walk from the beach....I'll be very pleased. 

I guess I'll continue to do research....later.   It's kind of hard to find hotels. I've looked at a few sites, and they seem to concentrate on the CBD area.   I'm not sure if it's because there's not many hotels elsewhere, or if these hotel sites assume you want to be near the Opera House or Darling Harbour.   

Ah!  I just found this website about Coogee.  They say there are accommodations there.  Awesome.   I'll explore that site on another date.  

Now I'm going to shut up and eat a Sherbet Lemon in honor of Dumbeldore.   No, I'm not going to admit that I ordered British candy, and no Australian candy.    Okay.  In my defense, I'm planning to order the Aussie candy in November.   I told Tim that instead of having a birthday cake for me over Thanksgiving, I'll bring Aussie treats to share instead.  Okay?  So, don't hate me.